Babette Deutsch

The Song

Oh, bitter-hearted me, thrice-parted me, 
What Pythagorean discipline will wring 
From discord, harmony? 
And where, out of this quarreling breast, 
Shall peace be found? 
Neither the earth, the bloody-syllabled, 
Nor the distracted air 
Affords a ground 
For music to build house. 
Selves, you are blackguards who inhabit me 
As vagabonds do ditches, prisoners — jails: 
Bound, being at rest, 
And muddied, being free. 
Yet now, even with harsh cracked voices, sing, 
Together sing, 
And briefly, though joy fails, 
Despair rejoices.